I am without a doubt an extreme tea enthusiast. In my collection I must have at least 50 different kinds of tea, from all sorts of places. I usually prefer herbal infusions as I try and stay away from consuming too much caffeine, but I do love myself a good cup of white tea, and the occasional green or black tea too.
Growing up I loved Iced Tea, it was in fact the only way I ever drank tea. Something interesting a lot of people don’t know, (Something I certainly didn’t know before I first visited the United States, and something people I know here are still confused by and don’t understand) is that iced tea in Canada, is vastly different from iced tea in the United States (and probably most countries) In Canada Iced Tea is always sweetened, and flavored with lemon, unsweetened iced tea is virtually unheard of (except for maybe in a handful of restaurants) It doesn’t matter if you buy the iced at a fast food restaurant, you buy it bottled or canned in the store, or you get it somewhere else it will almost always be sweetened and lemon flavored unless you’re specifically buying say a peached iced tea or something like that. The most common way iced tea is made in Canada, is by mixing a powder into a glass of water. The powder contains a lot of sugar, lemon flavor, and I’m assuming either powdered tea or tea extract. This is how iced tea is made and bought and sold in Canada, people for the most part don’t brew tea as you would traditionally and then pour it over ice with a bit of sugar and a squeeze of lemon mixed in. They buy the iced tea powder that is marketed by various companies. Lipton, Nestea etc... I would say in everyone of these powdered mixes, the amount of sugar, lemon flavor, and other flavorings greatly exceed the actual amount of tea in the drink, but that’s how it’s done. So imagine my surprise when I ordered my first iced tea in America and got asked "Sweetened or unsweetened?" Huh?
We’ll I’ve certainly come a long way since then. I love all kinds of teas, lightly sweetened and unsweetened, and these days I definitely do prefer fresh brewed iced tea to the Canadian kind I grew up with, even if I may have the occasional taste for it, I generally find it much too sweet for me now. So what has this got to do with anything you ask? Well it’s a fun fact, but also it gives a little background on my latest recipe.
A couple of weeks ago I was in my favorite local tea shop, Argo Tea. I ordered a drink there that I’d never had before, some kind of iced green tea with ginger and lemon. I loved it, absolutely went bonkers for it. However since there is no Argo Tea that is close enough to frequent regularly I had to use my own creativity and brainpower to re-create this drink at home. I think it turned out rather well, a bit less sweet then the tea house version, with slightly less bite but it went down smooth and delicious, and it was very, very refreshing to drink a huge thermos of it after a long hike in this hot humid weather.
Iced Green Tea with a Ginger Lime Twist,
4 bags Green Tea
4 C water
Juice of 3 limes
2-3 Tbsp sliced ginger (or to taste)
2-3 tbsp agave nectar (optional)
1/2C filtered water
3 packets stevia (optional)
- Boil enough water for 4 cups, and brew your green tea as directed on the package. Place in a teapot preferably one that contains a tea infuser basket.
- Place a thin metal sieve over a bowl, slice limes in half and squeeze juice out into the bowl. The sieve protects from any unwanted seeds or flesh getting into your juice. If you have an easier way to juice limes by all means use it.
- Slice 2-3 Tbsp’s worth of ginger, it doesn’t have to be super fine as you’re going to blend it anyway.
- Place lime juice, sliced ginger, and agave nectar into a high speed blender and blend for 30 seconds until everything is combined. Then pour into the teapot, making sure infuser basket is in place to catch any ginger filaments. You want your drink to be smooth and clear not milky and chunky.
- Add in your half cup of filtered water to dilute if necessary.
- Taste for sweetness and add Stevia or more agave nectar to taste.
Enjoy iced, with a nice lunch or dinner, or enjoy just by itself while outside in the yard reading a book. It’s also a very nice beverage to have after a long workout, run, bike ride or hike. Trust me on that.
*** Note - This recipe is best when left to sit for at least a few hours, but for best results let it sit overnight, that way the flavors really mingle and mellow ***